The month of November was crazy. My incredible Opa (grandpa) stepped from this land of shadows into eternity the week before Thanksgiving. The holiday was bittersweet. The entire Saunders clan will miss him, but I’m so happy that he’s finally home with God and reunited with Oma. It wasn’t goodbye; it was, see you later. That same day, my family’s sixteen-year-old Jack Russell passed. And the next day my other grandpa ended up in the hospital. Grandpa is doing well, but it was an emotional week.
Amongst all of that, NaNoWriMo wasn’t what I expected at all. Did I win? Yes. Will I ever do it again? A resounding no! Did I learn a bunch along the way? Another Yes.
I didn’t know what to expect when I started the challenge of writing 50,000 words in a month. Honestly, it didn’t sound as hard as it ended up being. I don’t know about anyone else, but I found the urgency to pound out a certain word count every day made my writers block worse. I stared at the screen on so many days, wondering why I couldn’t seem to connect with my story. I found myself more worried about the word count more than the story.
I’m glad I tried. I believe it strengthened my writing in a way. Through it all, I learned to let go of control. Let go and let God. It’s amazing how God can take something like a crazy writing challenge and teach me a lesson that doesn’t seem connected to the challenge in any way.
My first book, The Spark, has been out for one month now. Little did I know how easy it would be to slip into all the worry about marketing, advertising, and getting my book out there. I was driving myself crazy as I checked my sales reports regularly and hardly saw any change. I wondered; am I really supposed to pursue this? I wondered if I could achieve becoming a full-time author. But as I panicked over making it to 1,600 words a day and my story washed farther and farther downstream as I chased after it, I had an epiphany. This story isn’t for me.
I know that probably sounds crazy to most people. Most people think you want to be a writer so you can make money and become famous. I get why many would think that. And I know that a ton of people strike out as a writer for that very goal—but that’s not why I started this. I love storytelling. Something about taking people on a journey. Holding their attention while they laugh, cry, and shout out in shock over the many twists and turns, it’s exhilarating. The thing is, it’s written in my DNA. God is the ultimate storyteller, and he breathed that life into me.
Through my month of racking my brain for the correct word, stressing over the lack of sales, and wondering why I was putting myself through all of it, I was reminded to turn all glory back to God. I may never be famous, I may never even sell 100 books, but God is good. He brought me on this journey. I still don’t know exactly why, but I’ll see it through to the end no matter what.
So, whether my books ever hit the best-seller’s list, or if only my close friends and family get to enjoy it, I give all glory to God. I’ll leave my career in his capable hands.